The inspiration for House of Rainbow was led by the Holy Spirit. Growing up with the fear and hatred around the idea that one can be gay or lesbian and hated by God pushed me to learn more about what is in God’s heart for sexual minorities.
After many years of trial, tribulation and oppression, my conclusion is that God loves lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex, queer, non-binary, non-conforming, people living with HIV, people with disabilities and all of these culminated into the idea of starting the mission to the marginalised and those on the edge. We simply wanted a house where people of rainbow can praise and worship.
The third largest Canadian church after the Roman Catholic Church and the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church is already accepting of same-sex unions and gay clergy.
But another barrier was broken this week, when the Diocese of Toronto green lit the election of openly gay bishop Kevin Robertson.
Robertson, one of three new suffragan bishops in the Diocese, has two children with his partner Mohan.
The 45-year-old said: “I’m very overwhelmed… I didn’t really expect to be here, but I’m deeply, deeply honoured. I realise this is an historic day in the life of our church.
“It’s no secret that I’m the first openly gay, partnered bishop-elect in the diocese and perhaps in the Canadian church as well, and I know that for some people that’s a real challenge and for others it’s the fulfilment of what they’ve been hoping and praying for for a very long time.
Approval for gay marriage in church is continuing to spread across several denominations and regions, not only in civil law. The Lutheran Church in Norway is the latest example, giving overwhelming support in a church conference. (Formal change to the rules will come later). As time goes by, there will be more denominations giving formal approval, and more local groups and pastors conducting marriages or blessing services without approval. (And yes, that already includes some Catholic priests, in some regions). For LGBT Christians, especially the young coming to terms with their sexuality for the first time, this is of major importance. It will become increasingly difficult for some Christian pastors to sustain the traditional line that loving, committed same-sex relationships are inherently and obviously sinful, while others are giving public endorsements of those relationships in front of their local congregations. Instead, the opponents will have to start to come up with sound scriptural and theological evidence for their views – and will find that such evidence is much flimsier than they have supposed.
Church of Norway Officially Embraces Gay Marriage: ‘A Historic…Shift in the Church’s Teaching on Marriage’
The Church of Norway voted at its annual conference on Monday to allow gay marriage, with the Christian body joining the French Protestant Church, the U.S. Episcopal and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) denominations, among others, in now supporting same-sex unions.
It’s now obvious that progress to full lgbt inclusion is well under way in many mainline Protestant denominations, in both the USA and Europe. What’s less obvious, is that the process has also begun in Evangelical circles, as Matthew Vines describes in an article at Politico.
Vines first made an impact with his viral Youtube video on the Bible and Homosexuality, then followed it up with the launch of his “Reformation Project”, which has by now trained hundreds of fellow lgbt Christians to similarly conduct lgbt – friendly bible workshops in their own congregations. Then came his book “God and the Gay Christian”, which is now listed among the 1000 top sellers on Amazon.
The Episcopal Church approves religious weddings for gay couples after controversial debate
The bishops of the Episcopal Church have authorized their clergy to perform same-sex weddings, but don’t expect sweeping changes across the entire denomination anytime soon. Episcopalians voted Wednesday to allow religious weddings for gay couples, but not every priest will necessarily officiate at a same-sex wedding.
In resolutions adopted here at the denomination’s General Convention meeting in Salt Lake City this week, the bishops have endorsed new liturgies or services for same-sex couples wishing to marry in church. The bishops also approved changing the church’s canons, or rules, governing marriage, making them gender neutral by substituting the terms “man and woman” with “couple.” However, clergy were also given the right to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage, with the promise they would incur no penalty, while bishops were given the right to refuse to allow the services to take place in their diocese.
Evangelicals are starting to change their minds about gay marriage. In recent months, three large evangelical churches – EastLakeCommunity Church in Seattle, Washington, GracePointe Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and City Church in San Francisco, California – have announced that they no longer believe all same-sex relationships are sinful. Leading evangelical ethicist David Gushee changed his position on the issue in a landmark speech last fall, and celebrated pastor Campolo did the same in a statement on his website earlier this month.
This new pro-gay movement among evangelicals is still a minority, and staunch conservatives have been pushing back. But bit by bit, the number of American evangelicals who support marriage equality continues to rise.
A new poll released by evangelical research firm LifeWay Research in April demonstrated this shift. True, it showed that 66 percent of American evangelicals, fundamentalists and born-again believers say that same-sex relationships go against God’s will. While that is a super- majority, it is a substantial decline from just three years ago, when the same poll found that 82 percent held this view.
In part, that shift can be explained by the same forces that have changed much of the rest of American society. More evangelicals have openly gay friends and loved ones and, according to LifeWay, those who do are nearly twice as likely to support marriage equality as those who don’t.
But relationships alone are rarely sufficient to change conservative Christians’ minds on issues that are both political and theological. After all, evangelicals have based their opposition to gay rights on the Bible since the LGBT movement began. For years, even many sympathetic Christians have felt unable to embrace the LGBT community because of Scripture.
But while the Bible doesn’t change, interpretations of it can.
Gay marriage was—surprise!—alive and well in Rome, celebrated even and especially by select emperors, a spin-off of the general cultural affirmation of Roman homosexuality. Gay marriage was, along with homosexuality, something the first Christians faced as part of the pagan moral darkness of their time.
What Christians are fighting against today, then, is not yet another sexual innovation peculiar to our “enlightened age,” but the return to pre-Christian, pagan sexual morality.
So, what was happening in ancient Rome? Homosexuality was just as widespread among the Romans as it was among the Greeks (a sign of which is that it was condoned even by the stolid Stoics). The Romans had adopted the pederasty of the Greeks (aimed, generally, at boys between the ages of 12 to 18). There was nothing shameful about such sexual relations among Romans, if the boy was not freeborn. Slaves, both male and female, were considered property, and that included sexual property.
But the Romans also extended homosexuality to adult men, even adult free men. And it is likely that this crossing of the line from child to adult, unfree to free—not homosexuality as such—was what affronted the more austere of the Roman moralists.
Wiker is of course, opposed to marriage equality, and so continues to quote Roman sources to prove that even they were disgusted by the practice. The examples he quotes deserve close attention, because there’s an important point he misses (or avoids), one which clarifies for me the real lesson behind the apparent condemnation of same – sex relationships in Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Two years after France legalized gay marriage, church blessings for same – sex couples have been approved by the main Protestant Church (formed after a 2012-2013 merger of the Reformed Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church).
The headline in the RT report quoted below is a little misleading. The church has not voted to “bless” or conduct gay marriages, but will permit pastors to conduct blessing services for same – sex couples. The scale of the support for this decision is notable – 94 votes for, just 6 against.
France’s Main Protestant Church Gives Blessing to Gay Marriages
France’s largest Protestant Church, the fourth-largest religious group in the country, has voted for its pastors to give their blessing to homosexual couples. The move comes two years after Paris legalized same-sex marriages.
“The synod has decided to take a step forward in accompanying people and these couples by opening the possibility of celebrating liturgical blessings if they want,” said Laurent Schlumberger, president of the Church.
The decision was supported by 94 delegates out of 100. Only three voted against blessing homosexual couples. However, the vicars who oppose the practice won’t be forced to perform it.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has voted to allow congregations to ordain gay ministers who are in same sex civil partnerships – BBC News.
Delegates voted 309 in favour and 183 against.
The vote followed a church-wide debate and consultations with all 45 presbyteries, which voted 31 to 14 in favour of change.
A further vote will be held this week on whether or not to extend ordination to ministers in same sex marriages.
Supporters said it was time for the church to be inclusive and recognise the “mixed economy” of modern Scotland.
Opponents warned that the move was contrary to God’s law, would prove divisive and lead to resignations.
A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said that the current stance meant that the Church had adopted a position which “maintains a traditional view of marriage between a man and woman, but allows individual congregations to ‘opt out’ if they wish to appoint a minister or a deacon in a same sex civil partnership.”